i love the ending of this post............one day............taa daa................all laying in one big chicken pile.....................this is what I am hoping for!
so I have some serious training to do! OR just let the strongest win? I will never be able to just let them get injured , if I can prevent it................minor scuffs...........okay............but life threatening battles.................cant do it.
Thanks! Taa Daa is my mental thought when I saw them chilaxing, sun and dust bathig in the same spot, that did take a couple weeks.
I agree, no physical damage is acceptable, from my flock, in free range mode, i don't remember anything more than a little non physical fussing, couple air pecks and maybe a little chase, once. But mostly they went their own ways, but gradually getting closer until they were one group during the day ranging and then to their own coops at night, there was never confusion over who lived where, which I didn't expect. I thought a couple of the grown hens wanted to go to bed with the other group, but didn't. There are still preferred friends, but no fussing at all. The big hens don't do anything, but the the bantams act like they are being persecuted.
If I had to do it in a pinch...I would put them in at night and then in the morning (read this technique here on BYC) make a big ruckus!!! Kick over feed, bang walls, shake pens...rearrange everything. So it's all such a complete distraction they barely notice that someone is "new" and bond against the craziness.
Maybe keep them seperate a bit longer while you travel, so you can manage it when you get back?
God, I am verbose...annoying, I am aware of it.
A little bit of fence would work, because in a neighborhood, there shouldn't be much daytime predator pressure! Little like 100 ft of welded wire, with fiberglass step in posts... the posts are under $2 each and you only need one every 10 ft. and you can move it. Not easily I will tell you the truth, but it does rearrange nicely if you don't take it all down at once. :) you might have to clip wings if you do 3 ft, 4ft is better.
Oh and a couple days training of calling, here chick chick with treats, scratch, braead, diced tomato and they will follow you right into the pen.
Edited by alibabba - 6/14/15 at 8:56pm